LABIP has organized a number of expert workshops related to topics that are important for the research and application of Lactic Acid Bacteria.

Workshop on “Safety of lactic acid bacteria”
As a result of some reports in the litterature on the possible involvement of LAB in clinical infections, a EU-sponsored workshop was organized by LABIP in November 1994 to discuss and comment on the significance of these observations and wether ingested LAB could form a risk factor for clinical infection.
The key objectives of the workshop were:

  • To bring leading EU food and medical microbiologists and gastro-enterologists together to discuss the safety of LAB, with regard to the recent publications on this topic.
  • To come to a clearly written consensus document on the safety of LAB.

A full consensus workshop report was written and the major conclusions were published.

Adams M.R. and Marteau P., International Journal of Food Microbiology 27(1995)263-264 Publication workshop safety LAB 1994

Workshop on “Probiotics”
There is a growing interest in LAB that give specific health benefits when consumed as food supplement of component. However, opinions differ with respect to the requirements needed to substantiate a claim on a beneficial effect of a given bacterial strain. Also there is no consensus on how to define a viable strain as a probiotic. Therefore LABIP has hosted an expert workshop, sponsored by the EU, to address these topics. The workshop has been held in November 1995 and a full consensus report has been written and disseminated and a summary of the report has been published.

Guarner, F. and Schaafsma, G.J., International Journal of Food Microbiology 39(1998)237-238 Publication workshop on probiotics 1996

Workshop on “The Application of GMO LAB in Food Products in Europe”
During the last years, research on LAB and LAB fermented foods have been supported by the EU. Processes involving LAB have been investigated using biotechnological techniques, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Many of the potential benefits can only be realized if GMOs are acceptable for the consumer. Therefore LABIP has hosted in November 1998 an expert workshop to elucidate how products, made with GM-LAB can be introduced in Europe, taking into account the concerns of the consumer. The workshop was funded by the EU and a full consensus report has been published and widely disseminated.

Wymer, P. (1999) ISBN 90-76110-07-7  Report LABIP Workshop Application GMO LAB

LABIP Activities in EU sponsored research projects
LABIP has been participating in several EU sponsored research projects, either as Industrial Platform), full partner (Specific Support Action “GutImpact”) or as associated partner (Marie Curie Initial Training Network “CrossTalk”).

As full partner in the SSA GutImpact, LABIP has organized from 2005 until 2008 3 technical expert workshops and 3 consumer related workshops, at which also consumer representatives were present.

The technical workshops were entitled:

  • Technological aspects of making live, probiotic containing, gut health foods (Amsterdam, June 2006
  • Investigating the crosstalk between the gut microbiota and the host: the gut-brain axis (Warsaw, April 2007)
  • Gut health: Predictive biomarkers for preventive medicine and development of functional foods (Bucharest, February 2008)

The consumer workshops were entitled:

  • Probiotics – The consumer perspective (Rome, September 2005)
  • Responsible exploitation of scientific data on pro- and prebiotics for consumer health (Talinn, September 2006)
  • Gut health beneficial claims from a legislative perspective (Rome, June 2007)

Of all workshops, consensus reports were written and disseminated, while several were also published in scientific journals. All reports are found below.

Lahteenmaki, L. and Ledeboer, A.M. (2006) Food Sci. & Technol. Bulletin 3, 47-50

Ledeboer, A.M. and Lahteenmaki, L. (2007) Food Sci & Technol. Bulletin 4, 43-49

Ledeboer, A.M., Nauta, A., Sikkema, J., Laulund, E., Niederberger, P. & Sybesma, W. (2007) European Dairy Magazine 4, 31-32

LABIP as Associated Partner in the ITN CrossTalk
LABIP also was an associated partner in the ITN CROSS-TALK from 2008 untill 2012 with the aim to ensure that the opportunities for a career in industry were covered during the training. LABIP has taken take care that the fellows have realistic career perspectives in industry, have their first work experience in industry, develop a clear vision on the EU industry and are able to create their personal network in EU industry. It has done this by:

  • Organizing Network Spring Schools aimed to develop the awareness on industrial research and IPR, develop skills for job application and get insight in different career opportunities in industry.
  • Offering the fellows a 6-month secondment at one of the LABIP member companies during the ITN project. Application and interview for such secondments are part of the training
  • Circulating job offers of LABIP members during and 3 years following the project
  • Coaching all fellows personally to strengthen contact with industry
  • Providing at the Workshop Scientific programs 2 prizes for the best presentations

All these activities will lead to a strong interaction of the fellows with EU industrial research and open up the opportunities for careers at industry for the fellows while at the same time deliver highly motivated candidates for research jobs in industry.

LABIP also has been actively involved, sometimes together with other industrial organisations, in the discussion on claims on health benefits for probiotics or on the guidelines for Qualified Presumption of Safety (QPS) for the safety assesment of food microorganisms. Together with EFFCA an expert workshop on Probiotic Health Claims was organised in March 2010 in Brussels. Relevant documents, related to these activities can be found in the section “Links”.